Premier Guitar features affiliate links to help support our content. We may earn a commission on any affiliated purchases.

Reader Guitar of the Month: Daphne Blue “1968” Stratocaster

Reader Guitar of the Month: Daphne Blue “1968” Stratocaster

Name: Mark Robinson

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky

Guitar: Daphne Blue “1968” Stratocaster

Regretting that his 1968 “Hendrix” Strat got away, a guitarist decides to recreate it 50 years later.

It’s 1968 and I’m a 13-year-old Hendrix wannabe, like a thousand other teenage guitar players. In a pawnshop on Elm Street in Greensboro, North Carolina, hangs a brand new olympic white Stratocaster with a rosewood fretboard, oozing Hendrix vibe (many pawnshops were official Fender dealers back then). It hung there for a year, gaining a stain from the neck hanger which looked like the infamous burnt cigarette mark you see on some Strats. I worked an entire summer painting fences to earn the $300 it took to take that guitar home. (I worked the next summer to earn enough to buy a ’69 drip-edge Pro Reverb).


Fast-forward to 1975 and I’m a college student playing with a friend in dorms and such on campus. He convinces me to buy a bass, since my Strat and his acoustic guitar were a mismatch. So, I naively sold my 1968 Strat and bought a new 1975 P bass for $175 (it was $5 more for the custom black color). These are two of several instruments that “got away” from me over the years.

In 2017, I found a Squier Strat neck on Craigslist with the late ’60s/early ’70s wide headstock. It sparked the idea to recreate my 1968 Strat. The only thing I couldn’t find was the right “white” body. Most are cream, not really faded olympic white. So, I settled for daphne blue.

The neck has a reproduction 1968-1970 Strat decal. The serial number for those years was stamped on the neck plate. The neck plate I have is a reproduction with the Fender “F” on it and Serial #240981 (from the Jimi Hendrix Woodstock Strat). The body is poplar from Guitar Fetish’s XGP line. Tuners and neck plate are relic’d. The pickguard was purchased loaded with Fender Custom Shop 1969 reissue pickups.

The pickguard features:

  • New Fender Custom Shop ’69 Stratocaster Abby (Abigail Ybarra) pickups initialed and dated by Abby
  • New Fender ’60s-style 5-way toggle switch
  • New Fender CTS pots (top quality, if you know them)
  • New Fender/Switchcraft output jack (with two wire leads for easy installation)
  • The same American-made, top-quality, cotton-wrapped (shielded) wires used in the Fender Custom Shop (double-cloth jacket has a waxed cotton outer braid and a Celanese inner braid, just like Leo Fender used)
  • High-quality, no-lead soldering tin free from oxidation (the same type that’s used on high-end stereo systems)
  • New Fender pickguard with matching pickup covers and knobs

The tremolo bridge is from a Jimi Hendrix reissue Strat (purchased from Stratosphere). I completed the build with setup on December 29, 2017, and the entire project cost about $500.

It stays in tune better than any other guitar I own and is my favorite … second only to my 1990 Clapton “Blackie” Strat that my wife gave me as a wedding present in 1991.

Send your guitar story to submissions@premierguitar.com.

On her new record with her trio, Molly Miller executes a live-feeling work of structural harmony that mirrors her busy life.

Photo by Anna Azarov

The accomplished guitarist and teacher’s new record, like her lifestyle, is taut and exciting—no more, and certainly no less, than is needed.

Molly Miller, a self-described “high-energy person,” is fully charged by the crack of dawn. When Ischeduled our interview, she opted for the very first slot available—8:30 a.m.—just before her 10 a.m. tennis match!

Read MoreShow less

George Benson’s Dreams Do Come True: When George Benson Meets Robert Farnonwas recorded in 1989. The collaboration came about after Quincy Jones told the guitarist that Farnon was “the greatest arranger in all the world.”

Photo by Matt Furman

The jazz-guitar master and pop superstar opens up the archive to release 1989’s Dreams Do Come True: When George Benson Meets Robert Farnon, and he promises more fresh collab tracks are on the way.

“Like everything in life, there’s always more to be discovered,”George Benson writes in the liner notes to his new archival release, Dreams Do Come True: When George Benson Meets Robert Farnon. He’s talking about meeting Farnon—the arranger, conductor, and composer with credits alongside Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Vera Lynn, among many others, plus a host of soundtracks—after Quincy Jones told the guitarist he was “the greatest arranger in all the world.”

Read MoreShow less

The new Jimi Hendrix documentary chronicles the conceptualization and construction of the legendary musician’s recording studio in Manhattan that opened less than a month before his untimely death in 1970. Watch the trailer now.

Read MoreShow less
Rivolta Guitars' Sferata | PG Plays
Rivolta Guitars' Sferata | PG Plays

PG contributor Tom Butwin dives into the Rivolta Sferata, part of the exciting new Forma series. Designed by Dennis Fano and crafted in Korea, the Sferata stands out with its lightweight simaruba wood construction and set-neck design for incredible playability.

Read MoreShow less